Useful Products and Ways to Live More Sustainably
Learn how to protect the Earth every day in honor of Earth Day.
Learn how to protect the Earth every day in honor of Earth Day.
Text: Stevie Rowley
When Earth Day trickles around, sustainability conversations always come about. As the world faces a climate crisis, it's important that everyone does their part to lessen the effects of climate change on the planet. Now, switching to sustainable practices seems daunting. The typical mindset around sustainable practices is go big or go home. However, living a fully sustainable life is hard, and not possible for every person. While living a fully sustainable life may be pushing the boundaries, there are small changes you can make to include sustainable practices into your routine. It can be as simple as switching lightbulbs, or as drastic as cutting out all plastic. No matter what change you make, any small shift is better than nothing at all. In honor of Earth Day, here are 10 useful products and habits to introduce into your routine to live more sustainably.
Switch to Products With Less Plastic Packaging
The damages of plastic to the environment never seem to end. From its extremely long decomposition time, to its invasion of the Earth’s waterways, plastic is one of the most damaging products to the Earth. Yet, it still controls the packaging world. Pretty much every product in a grocery store is covered in single use plastic. To prevent the plastic pollution from getting even worse, try switching the products that don’t use plastic packaging. A lot of companies are no looking into recyclable and compostable packaging for their products. Instead of picking up the plastic wrapped product, try seeing if there’s an alternative.
Bring A Reusable Shopping Bag
When it comes to grocery shopping, it’s always convenient to grab a plastic bag from self checkout or the cashier to place your groceries in. These plastic bags add up, and further contribute to the plastic pollution. To combat this, some states require stores to charge a bag fee, or have switched to more eco-friendly bag options. To make sure you’re doing your part, and to avoid the possible fee, bring a reusable bag when you grocery shop. There’s a variety of options out there, and certain grocery stores even sell their own. Check out this Baggu option to get your reusable bag collection started.
Eat Less Meat
While it seems that everyone is going vegan, it’s for a good reason. Meat production is one of the most environmentally damaging processes. It uses mass amounts of water, creates a lot of pollution, greenhouse emissions, and habitat destruction. An easy way to be eco-friendly in your own home is by cutting down on your meat consumption. You don’t have to go completely vegan, but be mindful of your carbon footprint. Try trading in a night of burgers for a night of veggie burgers and lessen the effects that meat production has on the planet.
Use Refillable Products
Circling back to the harms of plastic comes single use plastic. When we buy new products, such as hand soap or shampoo, our bottles are normally made from plastic. Once we run out of those products, we toss them out and buy more single use plastic bottles. The cycle keeps repeating, and the damage from plastic continues to rise. The next time you run out of products you use every day, try looking for a refillable option. There are tons of companies out there now that sell refills for products, such as makeup, hair care, and home necessities. Check out this refillable bath kit from Public Goods to start the product switch.
Shop Eco-friendly and Sustainable Brands
When it comes to fashion, fast fashion is one of the leading contributors to climate change. To make fast fashion items, companies use underpaid workers in developing countries to make the garments in unsafe working conditions. These people work extortionate hours for a barely livable wage. On top of that, fast fashion uses tons of water. It’s estimated that to make one cotton shirt it takes 700 gallons of water. If that’s the amount of water used for one shirt, one can only imagine how much water it takes to complete a full production run. Fast fashion is also a leading contributor to micro-plastic pollution, due to its use of synthetic fibers. With all of this in mind, it’s important that the fashion world starts looking for more sustainable options. One way you can be more sustainable with your fashion choices is by shopping eco-friendly and sustainable brands. While these garments may be more expensive, they’ll last longer and will lessen the effects of fast fashion.
Change Lightbulbs to LEDs
Changing your lightbulbs is one of the easiest ways to introduce sustainable practices into your home. LED lights are not only better for the planet, but better for your electricity bill. LED lightbulbs are designed to last longer than traditional lightbulbs, meaning less bulbs need to be produced. LEDs can be up to 80% more energy efficient, meaning they use less electricity than traditional bulbs. Check out these LED lightbulbs to start making the switch.
Shop Second Hand
Going thrift shopping has become increasingly more popular over the last few years. With TikTok users creating thrifted shopping bundles, to brands introducing second hand selections, reusing old clothes is the new way to shop. Not only do you have the opportunity to find the coolest vintage pieces, shopping second hand is really good for the planet. As mentioned earlier, the fashion industry contributes to a lot of pollution. So many clothes are being made daily, but there are still so many clothes in the world that aren’t being used. Shopping second hand helps to give old clothes a new life, and lessens the demand for product production. On the flip side of this comes donating. Be sure to donate your old clothes to keep the second hand shopping cycle going.
Ditch Plastic Water Bottles
Although they’re easy for on the go, plastic water bottles are terrible for the planet. They’re yet another single use plastic that is used every day, and pollutes water ways. A small, yet big change you can make to your day to day life to be more sustainable is using a reusable water bottle. From the Hydro Flask hype to the new Stanley Cup obsession that’s taking over TikTok, reusable water bottles are becoming a trendy accessory. Not only are these bottles great for the planet, they will help keep you hydrated all day long. Check out this Stanley IceFlow Straw Tumbler that’s taking over TikTok to get your reusable water bottle collection started.
Shop Local and Organic Foods and Get What You Need
Sustainable farming is one of the most important practices in sustainable living. Sustainable farming differs from regular farming because it uses humane practices and operates with the planet in mind. From unsustainable farming practices comes food waste. By wasting food, not only are we getting rid of resources people in need could use, but we are also wasting the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package the item. When food is throw into landfills, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide. This gas pollutes the air, and creates more damage to the planet. To cut back on food waste and unsustainable farming, be sure to shop local and organic foods and only get what you need. By not contributing to over consumption, the amount of food waste in the world will begin to diminish. By shopping locally and organically, you’re supporting sustainable farming practices to help keep the Earth healthy.
Introduce Reusable Storage Bags Into Your Kitchen
Finally, the list ends with reusable storage bags. Ziploc bags and plastic wrap are two big kitchen staples. They help keep food fresh and can store just about anything. However, these items are just another example of harmful single use plastic. To cut back on plastic, try incorporating reusable storage bags into your kitchen. From beeswax wraps to silicone baggies, there’s a plethora of options for you to pick from. Check out this Reusable Silicone Starter Kit Bundle from Stasher to start your reusable bag collection.